NEW DELHI — India’s fashion e-tailers have shuffled their management as the sector gets set for explosive growth.
India’s online fashion market is predicted to grow more than 15-fold over the next seven years, up from $3 billion in 2014 to an estimated $50 billion by 2020. This has resulted in new leaders being put into place as firms seek different talents to deal with their expansion.
Myntra, the biggest fashion e-tailer in India, has named Ananth Narayanan chief executive officer, effective Oct. 1. Narayanan was earlier India director of consulting firm McKinsey.
He succeeds ceo and founder Mukesh Bansal, who will now be chairman. Myntra was acquired by Flipkart in May 2014. Flipkart is the India’s biggest e-tailer, with a valuation of about $15 billion and posting more than $4 billion in gross merchandise value in March.
Since the acquisition last year, Myntra has seen a rush of collaborations and launches — with global brands as well as private labels and a fashion event co-organized with IMG Reliance, the joint venture that collaborates with Lakme Fashion Week.
Myntra has also been going through a period of transition as it changed to a mobile-only interface two months ago. Flipkart is expected to do the same in coming months. The contention is that the bulk of e-commerce traffic in India has shifted to mobile platforms.
Elsewhere, Reliance Retail has revealed the appointment of a ceo for its e-commerce fashion and lifestyle business. Sanjay Mehra has more than two decades’ experience in the retail industry — including having worked for Nike and Motorola, as well as with consumer products.
Reliance is the biggest brick-and-mortar retailer in the country, with more than 2,700 stores across 210 cities in India.
According to reports, management at the second-largest fashion e-commerce site Jabong is scheduled for change as well — with both ceo Arun Chandra and managing director Praveen Sinha scheduled to shift to new assignments within the group.
Jabong is part of the Global Fashion Group owned by Rocket Internet, which focuses on fashion e-commerce in five markets including Russia, Latin America and the Middle East. Jabong more than doubled its revenue to 8.11 billion rupees in 2014, within four years of its launch.
Both Chandra and Sinha are expected to have new roles within the group.
Although there are many internal moves being made, many of the new positions are being filled with appointments by executives from leading consulting firms: Abhishek Verma, who heads private brands at Myntra, was also formerly with McKinsey, as was Sidharth Gupta, who is vice president and head of strategy and corporate development at Myntra.
New brand faces are also being chosen, with Bollywood stars being the favorites — this week e-commerce site Askme said that actor/singer/director Farhan Akhtar would endorse the company’s products and services through advertising campaigns, across TV, print and online channels. These will start from August.
Over the last year a growing number of Bollywood stars have been appointed by e-tailers to draw in customers, including actors Aamir Khan, Kangna Ranaut and Shah Rukh Khan.